Homeward Bound – Rum, Easter 2012 Part 4   10 comments

It was time to head home after a cracking few days. We had an idea on the previous evening to set off early and climb some hills but we stayed in character and got up late. After packing up we intended to walk back along the track to Kinloch. GM suggested heading back over the Bealach Bairc Mheall but I wasn’t convinced about hauling the pack over the wild ground. However the weather looked to be improving so pretty much on a whim we changed direction and started heading up into Glen Harris towards Atlantic Corrie.

Return to Kinloch via Coire Dubh, 8 miles, 2,000 feet of ascent

It was a master-stroke of an idea. The going while a little squelchy was pretty easy with numerous sheep and deer tracks to follow.

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Glen Harris

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Trollaval

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Barkeval

Normally when hiking with GM all I get to see is him disappearing into the distance while I tag along at the back. Today the roles were reversed and I managed to get a burst of energy from god knows where and set a blistering pace, granola power perhaps. More likely it was the joy of the wild, dark and brooding corrie that lifted me. Atlantic Corrie is quite magnificent with Trollaval rising to the south, Barkeval to the north, summits still shrouded in cloud but with a hint of possibility of clearing to drive me on.

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Atlantic Corrie, Hallival, Askival

GM finally overtook me when I left one of my poles behind and had to go back for it. As we hit the bealach we were greeted with a sunny view across north Rum towards the Isle of Skye.

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Harris Bay

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Skye from the Bealach

We both grinned our satisfaction to the Sky(e) having made it to the Col in less than 2 hours. We now had plenty of time to climb one of summits and went for Barkeval as it would give us a view over Harris Bay if it cleared. We dumped the sacks and headed up. Always amazing the spring in your step you get when dropping a backpack to climb a summit. Almost feels like you could run up and we made short work to the top. We hung around in the mist waiting for it to clear. Just when we’d given up we were treated to a few glimpses of sunny coast and islands before it closed in again.

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GM on Barkeval summit

Satisfied with that we started to head down – we had a ferry to catch. As we descended the summit cleared properly and the views were breathtaking.

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Harris Bay

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Hallival, Askival

Shafts of sunlight lighting up some of dark summits of the ridge, framing the Isle of Muck, and clear sunny views across to Skye, Canna, the mainland and the Outer Hebrides. Again we felt extremely lucky that in such an unsettled spell of weather we’d been treated to such classic coastal views. Rum was laid out beneath us and a mighty fine island it is. The lower northern hills and bays need a visit and the shapely little peak of Fionchra caught the eye. We toyed with the idea of running up Hallival but thought we might be pushing our luck with the time. Instead we settled for a short descent into Coire Dubh for extended lunch stop in the sunshine.

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Skye and Loch Scresort

As we ate we watched the ferry on its first visit of the day before heading off to Canna and back to pick us up. With blue sky and sunshine lighting up the small isles it was just a fantastic way to be ending the trip. Coire Dubh itself is pretty special with an alpine style meadow just below the ridge.

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Coire Dubh

It’s very wet and boggy but if you could find a place to throw a tent up it would be an epic site to spend the night. The walk along the stream and down into the forest back to Kinloch was just a pleasure and despite my soggy feet I enjoyed every step.

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GM on the walk home

As we walked down it became clear that the mountains of Knoydart back on the mainland had a cap of snow which seemed surprising as it didn’t seem especially cold.

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Across to distant Knoydart

In fact as I waited for GM to catch up at Kinloch, I sat on the picnic table by the castle in shirtsleeves and sunhat such was the warmth. Reluctantly we headed off to catch the ferry in bright sunshine and it looked like we would escape from Rum without the need for a helicopter.

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Kinloch Castle

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Loch Scresort

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Waiting for my ship to come in

The ferry journey itself was pretty amazing with some stunning views back to Rum and across to Eigg that was hiding under a massive black cloud and the boat was drenched as it passed though the shower en-route to pick up the day-trippers on the island.

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Askival and Hallival

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Eigg

The views of An Sgurr as we headed on the final leg back to Mallaig were as good as I remembered from the last trip and as we steamed into port the views back to Rum, itself now thunderously dark were just magnificent.

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An Sgurr, Eigg

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Eigg and Rum

After an adventure like this the only fitting finale was fish and chips from the station chippy eaten on the wall of the car park overlooking the small isles we’d just come rom.

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Fish and Chips with a view

I’m not sure if it was the quality of the food, the view, or the fact I’d been living on dried food and pigeon loft scrapings for 3 days, but they were best fish and chips I’ve eaten in many a year. The perfect end to another Easter adventure.

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10 responses to “Homeward Bound – Rum, Easter 2012 Part 4

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  1. Top stuff!

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    beatingthebounds
  2. Great post as usual – and some neat banjo picking! Geoff and I just disovered Windows Movie Maker last night, would you believe, so will have to have a play with some slide shows like yours. Previously, I’d always used Powerpoint to set photos to music, but couldn’t believe how easy the Movie Maker was in comparison!

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    • Thanks Chrissie. I use alot of HD video which needs to work with MP4 format which Movie Maker can’t use. I use Cyberlink PowerDirector for my little movies and slideshows. I create them mainly for my own benefit but they are easy enough to upload to YouTube and share on the blog

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  3. Excellent, you finished your trip in style!

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    backpackingbongos
    • Thanks James, it was a really great trip to one of Scotlands Island gems, you just can’t beat a coastal campsite in the wilds and we didn’t do too bad at all for weather

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  4. A splendid finale.
    Some grand views of the ridge and looking back from the ferry it seems you enjoyed the best of the weather that day.

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    • Thanks Paul. Some really atmospheric views from the ferry with the bright sunlight and dark storm clouds. Really was a great last day and all the better for the fact it was unplanned and the warm sunny spell of weather unexpected

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  5. That gamble paid off really well, more great pics of superbly wild country there. As you say, a good patch of dry ground would make an excellent pitch.

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    • Thanks Geoff. The walk down from the col into that valley in the watm sunshine was just terrific. A dry spot would be an oasis of dry in a sea of squelch 🙂

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